In my nearly 4,500 calibrations over the past 20 years, I have encountered too many stupidities in TV technologies. Here are the top 10, some of which have been around from the beginning of time.
1. BRIGHTNESS: it is actually the function to control black level. It has nothing to do with brightness at all. It should have been called BLACK LEVEL so there is no confusion.
2. CONTRAST: is the function to control white level. Why don’t call it WHITE LEVEL?
3. SHARPNESS: is the function to add edge distortion in order to create the illusion of sharpness. Why this control even exist at all is beyond me.
4. TINT: in high definition standards set by ATSC, there is no such thing as TINT, so why the TINT function still exists (and actually tweakable) on HD displays?
5. SMART TV: the dumbest thing on a TV. Try browsing or play Angry Birds for a week on your SMART TV, I guarantee you that you’ll be the one who is angry.
6. EDGE LIT LED TV: in the quest of making TVs thinner and thinner, manufacturers use edge lit instead of the old backlit system. Not only it is bad as it creates bad uniformity and bad black levels on the TV, the thinness of the TV also negatively affect the Tv’s sound quality. So you buy your thin TV, then you HAVE to buy a sound bar to make it sound somewhat acceptable…ie spending at least another $500 to make your $1,000 TV sounds as “good” as your 20-year-old TV.
7. SIDE INPUTS: seriously…the TV is now slim and sleek, yet all 4-6 HDMI inputs are located on the side of the TV. Case in point, my TV is now slanted to the left because of the weight of all the HDMI cables connected to it. I have to use a couple of DVD cases to prop the left side of the TV up.
8. NON-STANDARD ARC INPUT LOCATION: each TV will only have one HDMI input that is ARC (Audio Return Channel) capable. So why can’t all manufacturers put the ARC capable HDMI as HDMI 1? Some manufacturer put them as HDMI 1, some as HDMI 2, and it goes as bad as HDMI 4. Who designed these things?
9. NON-STANDARD AUDIO OUTPUT CAPABILITY: because of reasons mentioned in item 6 above, you then need to buy a sound bar. The problem? Some TV use analog output, some use optical with stereo output, some with Dolby Digital and DTS output, some use Dolby Digital only with no sound being output at all when DTS sound is being played, some only output sound from the Netflix and other streaming programs but nothing from any of the HDMI input. Whaaaaaaaat??!!!
10. POWER CABLE: remember when their location was either on the bottom left or bottom right of the TV? Nowadays they come in various types of cables from figure-8 connector, D-connector, 3-prong, 2-prong, and even lump-in-the-middle outboard power adapter with DC cable with various sizes of connectors. Aaaaaaaaaaargh!!!!